Maldives holidays, wildlife cruise

“Spend six nights onboard a crewed sailing gulet as part of a small group as you set sail for some of the top snorkelling sites and wildlife watching areas in the Maldives.”

Highlights

Live-aboard sailing gulet | Guraidhoo | South Male Atoll | South Ari Atoll | marine biologist/expert | seasonal wildlife spotting | snorkelling or basic Scuba diving course | Hulhumale |

Description of Maldives holidays, wildlife cruise

This wonderful week-long wildlife cruise in the Maldives finds travellers joining a small group and taking to the ocean on a traditionally designed sailing gulet in search of an incredibly exciting underwater world – perfect for snorkelling and swimming or sunbathing and star watching on deck.

Discovering the marine ecology of the Maldives if the best way to truly experience the islands at their best with opportunities to visit untouched sandy beaches just as memorable as spotting your first manta ray or whale shark appearing from the Indian Ocean.

Alongside mantas and sharks, you can expect to see several types of turtle in addition to spinner and bottlenose dolphins to ensure this is one wildlife cruise in the Maldives that will last long into the memory after the sun tan finally fades.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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24 Nov 2018
£ 2699
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08 Dec 2018
£ 2899
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19 Jan 2019
£ 2769
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26 Jan 2019
£ 2799
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02 Feb 2019
£ 2799
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02 Mar 2019
£ 2799
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09 Mar 2019
£ 2769
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16 Mar 2019
£ 2769
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30 Mar 2019
£ 2769
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01 Nov 2019
£ 2799
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23 Nov 2019
£ 2799
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14 Dec 2019
£ 3049
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21 Dec 2019
£ 3099
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Maldives holidays, wildlife cruise

Accommodation & Meals:
You will spend the first night in a local island guesthouse. We predominantly use small businesses for accommodation in order to keep investment local and benefit the communities we visit directly. Almost all meals are provided and whilst much produce has to be imported to the destination the MV Felicity will endeavour to use local produce wherever possible. Meals might include bananas, water melon papaya and plenty of fresh fish!

Community:
We only use locally owned and operated guesthouses, dive schools and excursion providers all of which have been developed by locals. This ensures that profits go back into the hands of the local community. We also support businesses indirectly through associated services and activities. These include laundry services, local fishing industry, speedboat operators, cafes and supermarkets.
We provide employment, good working conditions, a fair wage and performance reviews for local employees. Our guides are Maldivian and with the exception of the Sales Director, our operations team are Maldivian. Not only does this ensure our guests get a real insight to Maldivian life, our guides achieve personal development through interaction with guests from different cultures and backgrounds. They also have the opportunity to participate in tour leader development programs available from our international partners.

Wildlife:
“A treasure trove of marine life” is perhaps the best way to describe the Maldives, however this ecosystem is fragile. A single touch can kill coral or infect marine life. We encourage safe and responsible snorkelling and diving practises and guests can expect information and demonstrations on correct snorkelling/diving practises throughout the trip. For example, we do not touch underwater creatures (including coral) or pollute the water with litter.

Awareness:
The Maldives struggle to eliminate all the rubbish produced by over 1 million tourists per year and whilst educating locals in waste management is all part of a larger project, we encourage our guests to support this in a number of ways. Lead by example and don’t drop rubbish, reuse or refuse plastic bags in shops and we encourage it as a point of conversation between our guides and the local community with guests.

Local Craft and Culture:
Although this trip is largely nature and water based, we make time to stop at locally inhabited islands where you will have the opportunity to explore Maldivian culture and to support the local economy. Traditional handmade souvenirs include coconut wood carving and woodware, lacquer ware and woven products. We encourage clients not to buy any crafts made from animal parts, including shells.

Charity:
On this trip, the main organisation we support is the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP). The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) is a research-based conservation charity dedicated to studying the Whale shark and fostering community-focused conservation initiatives in the Maldives and the greater Indian Ocean. What initially began as a scientific expedition in 2006, has grown to become the only long-term organization dedicated to study the iconic, yet vulnerable Whale shark species in the Maldives. Their goal is simple: they seek to advance the field of Whale shark knowledge and to advocate for sound conservation policy in the Maldives. By encouraging and valuing community and industry stakeholder participation, they are able to leverage the scientific research to safeguard the rich biodiversity and fragile marine ecosystems that are the basis for not only Whale sharks, but also life, livelihood and culture in the Maldives.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

1 Reviews of Maldives holidays, wildlife cruise

5 out of 5 stars
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In depth story review

“I love the idea of seeing wildlife on holiday, and combined with the fact that this was a smallish boat and had a focus on marine wildlife and seeing the reef, it seemed perfect.”

Reviewed on 10 Jan 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Snorkelling with a group of feeding manta rays for about 40 minutes. Unforgettable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take a few days on either side - go to one of the local islands. Actually - take the days beforehand, as it's hard to imagine anything living up to the boat trip (bearing in mind that we'd never been on a snorkelling trip or anything like this, so we can't compare).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All of the above to some extent. Guide was very aware of environmental impact, we also had talk from local working on conservation / research of whale sharks.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic. Again - can't compare to anything as such. Understand that many of the coral reefs have suffered from bleaching to some extent due in particular to
the warm summers a few years back. Despite that, the fish life seemed amazing.

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